The port of Antwerp has announced that it recorded 'strong growth' for the seventh year in a row, with freight volume up 1.3 per cent to 238m tonnes.
Growth was achieved despite 'increasing tension in world trade', with container freight in particular gaining market share – up from 27.5 per cent to 28.2 per cent.
'Although some segments are clearly under pressure due to economic reasons the port is making progress overall,' the Port Authority noted. 'But this progress is not just economic: in social terms the port is also making clear steps in favour of sustainability and mobility.'
Across the segments, dry bulk saw its total volume expand by 3.4 per cent, while breakbulk saw an overall contraction of 13 per cent.
Meanwhile, port CEO Jacques Vandermeiren highlighted the efforts being made in the area of sustainability.
'We are using the technology and expertise that we have in the port to smooth the path towards becoming a carbon-neutral port,' he explained. 'We are striving for a multi-fuel port where various sustainable fuels are available beside one another.
'In the near future we'll be experimenting with tugs powered by sustainable methanol hydrogen,' he added. 'Other interesting avenues that we are exploring are Carbon Capture & Utilisation and Carbon Capture & Storage, along with ways of re-using carbon in circular processes. It is our ambition to make the sustainable transition a reality, and port of Antwerp has a pioneering role to play here.'